The wintry weather continues, making this weekend the perfect time to stay in and watch Rough Justice, which premieres in the UK today and is already streaming in the US.
Rough Justice, aka Coppers in its native Belgium, is a police procedural series based in part on Flemish author Toni Coppers’ “Meesters in misdaad” (“Masters in Crime”) novels, whose protagonist is Police Superintendent Liese Meerhout.
Hilde De Baerdemaeker (Familie, LouisLouise, Wittekerke) plays Liese, the steely, no-nonsense head of the federal judicial police’s homicide division in Antwerp. Getting to the truth is what matters to her, so she crosses the boundary between what is and isn’t legal when needs must. And while Liese is low-key in general, she expresses herself more colorfully by driving a mustard yellow Mercedes and wailing on the drums at home.
Liese’s team includes her right-hand man Michel Masson (Luk Wyns, Crimi Clowns, Familie Backeljau), who often notices what other miss and drinks to ease his stress (even on the job); Sofie Jacobs (Lotte Pinoy, Sara, Binnenstebuiten), a rather feisty detective who says what’s on her mind and often puts her foot in it; and Laurent Vandenbergh (Bert Verbeke, Thuis, Mega Mindy), a young inspector who gets dumped on a lot. Their colleague is Fabian Steppe (Joris Hessels, Professor T., Zuidflank), the pathologist with a mega-crush on Liese.
In the series opener, the team investigates the murder of a journalist whose body was found with a toy doll. A few days later, another corpse is discovered, and the presence of a similar doll raises the possibility that the two crimes are the work of a serial killer. But Liese thinks otherwise and goes about searching for a link between the two victims.
In the meantime, she begins receiving emails from an unknown sender — all of them containing a picture of a young girl who was the victim in a case Liese had handled, followed by a demand.
As we discover later, there are consequences if Liese doesn’t do as directed in the messages.
Rough Justice is a straightforward police procedural that features a closed-ended murder mystery in each episode. The binge factor comes in both the tightness of the standalone crime stories and the intrigue of the tantalizing email arc.
The first episode of Rough Justice premieres in the UK today, Friday, 9 March 2018, on Channel 4‘s More4 digital channel. Subsequent episodes will transmit every Friday on More4 through the 1st of June.
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